“He hears a tiny-loud noise and says, ‘Mom, was it a shot?'” This is how the mother describes the mental state of her son, who returned from captivity, in one sentence.

The 19-year-old soldier, staying in Azerbaijan for more than 20 days, was subjected to physical and psychological inhumane violence along with his fellow soldiers. Soldiers were treated most cruelly by the military police of Azerbaijan. They were beat for sitting, sleeping, leaning on something and all other actions, if they violated the enemy’s requirement to stand still. The father and mother mentioned that their son went through these cruelties for three days, after which he was taken to prison.

“Azerbaijani military kept hitting on their heads and backs. He said that they were forced to walk like dogs, the Azerbaijanis stood on high places and jumped on the backs of the captives,” the parents of the person who returned from captivity give details of the anti-human behavior of the enemy and emphasize that they forced the Armenian soldiers to fight with each other. However, the Armenian soldiers in the enemy’s land found ways to protect each other.

“They forced the boys to fight with each other, friends to fight against each other, whoever lost was beaten. My son tells that they agreed that the strong guys would lose on purpose, so that the blows would fall to them.”

The parents of the serviceman who returned from captivity are alarming that their son has acquired serious physical and psychological problems as a result of all this, and, after they returned to the homeland, the Ministry of Defense wants to take them back to the army. The father and mother express their concern on the condition of anonymity because they think their son’s problems will increase rather than be solved if they speak publicly. They note that the boy is depressed, interpersonal problems may arise in the military unit, and they predict the worst.

“After he came back, he was very depressed, scared, he couldn’t understand what was going on, he was very happy to see us, he said he was just born. He was strong, he was able to resist, but fear and depression do not go away. He came home, but he was isolated, he did not communicate with us, he is constantly thinking. We talk to him, but he does not respond, he is distracted, he has become forgetful. We send him to a store to occupy his mind a bit with something else, he calls several times and asks what he is going to buy,” said the parents, noting that their son, apart from the Azerbaijani violence, also had severe psychological problems before being captured.

According to the parents, the commander’s leg was cut off by a UAV strike, his son was next to him; he stopped the bleeding, and then he witnessed how the commander blew himself up and started burning. The boy extinguished the fire and moved the body so that it would not be captured by Azeries. He also witnessed the death of his friend.

The psychologist, after the examinations, diagnosed psychological problems with this serviceman. Against this background, the parents are concerned about the indifferent behavior towards the boy who returned from captivity in the military hospitals.

“The doctor says: now I can give you the papers so that you can take them home, I say: take him home to do what? Let him receive full treatment. There is an shrapnel on the neck, which has stuck to the nerve: how will we deal with it? The doctor says they are examining it. It was also on his leg; he took it off himself. He has tension in his leg, irregular movement, which was not there. The doctor says, the shrapnel is attached to the nerve. I say: ‘Well, if it is attached to the nerve, remove it’. He says, we have to cut it this much in order to reach there.”

The psychological problems of the serviceman are more emphasized when he becomes a participant in service-related conversations or sees objects. The mother said that even military clothes make her son afraid. On September 13, he was sent a notice to be taken to the army, but it was postponed due to the sharp deterioration of his condition. “He is scared, very scared. You can’t imagine what feelings he had when he saw the military clothes. He says, ‘I came to this prison from that prison, they difference is that there are Armenians here, not Turks,” the mother presented the situation, noting that her son fought to the end and ended up in a siege.

“They were under siege in the positions of Verin Shorzha. They called us to say goodbye, they said, dear mom, we will not come back anymore. They fought until the morning, they had no weapons, they ran out of bullets, and they came and took prisoners. They were thinking of blowing themselves up.”

He lost contact with his son on September 14. The parents tried to get information from the military unit, but they were treated with indifference, they heard such answers that they thought their son was killed, they started looking in morgues until they saw videos of their son in captivity on social networks.

“They said from the army that they were not aware of anything, the commander was killed, and they had no information. I spoke with two people from the army; they said they know that there are dead bodies in the positions, the Azerbaijanis do not let us take them out. They call the parents and tell them that the childrens corpses are lying around, that the army was massacred. I said, I gave you a child, don’t you have any information about my child? Because we didn’t know if they were taken to Azerbaijan or if they were eliminated.”

The parents of servicemen who returned from captivity were left alone against the Ministry of Defense headed by Suren Papikyan, in order not to send their sons to the army with health problems.

Narek Kirakosyan

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